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Revamped Camry to debut in New York

Mid-cycle refresh in the works for North America's best-selling mid-size car

Published: March 31, 2014, 4:45 AM

2013 Toyota Camry

The car market in the U.S. is different than it is here in Canada. Here, The compact Honda Civic has been this country's best-selling car for 15 consecutive years. But south of the border, the mid-size Toyota Camry has held that exalted position for the past 12 years.

The order-of magnitude difference in the size of the two markets makes the Camry the best-selling car in all of North America. But even that that established order is under pressure.

More dramatically styled and grossly improved mid-size cars like the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata have been gradually chipping sales away from the Japanese giant. And for the first two months of 2014, the Nissan Altima has outsold the Camry to claim the top car sales spot in the U.S.

Here in Canada, Ford sold five Fusions to every four Toyota Camrys sold in 2013, thus claiming the mid-size sedan crown for the Blue-Oval brand. (The Camry ranked tenth in Canadian car sales, to the Fusion's eighth).

All of which is hand-writing on the wall that Toyota has not failed to see.

Consequently, the mid-cycle refresh scheduled for the 2015 Camry, is expected to be much greater than the minor facelift that would traditionally occur in the fifth year since its last major overhaul for the 2012 model year.

Toyota's global leader, Akio Toyoda has been urging the company's designers to pursue a "waku-doki" design philosophy, which translates loosely to a more "heart racing" look and recent Toyota concept cars have tended more in that direction. 

Just how far down that road the new Camry will venture remains to be seen. As one Toyota spokesperson put it, expect it to be "more aggressive" rather than truly "adventurous."

The 2015 Camry will make its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show on April 16.